A Woman’s Retrospective of the American Revolution Essay

A Woman’s Retrospective of the American Revolution Essay

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Sarah Benjamin went before the deposition on the twentieth day of November, 1837 in the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne County, Pennsylvania. This deposition intended to validate claims for receiving pension benefits owed to Mrs. Benjamin from a previous marriage; an Aaron Osborn, veteran of the Revolutionary War. Her case founded itself on the numerous acts of Congress over the previous decade--in particular the Comprehensive Pension Act of 1832 and subsequent acts of Congress from July 4, 1836 and March 3, 1837--allowing for the first time yearly grants to all who served in the Continental Army for a period of six months or more. These acts supplanted Sarah Benjamin's case because applicants no longer required disability or monetary status for approval, as well as allowing widows married at the time of the war to be eligible for full payments1. While the history of Revolutionary War pensions is quite rich and intriguing, what is most enriching over the course of the study of this document is the incredibly vivid and accurate account of life in Continental Army camps Mrs. Benjamin–known as Sarah Osborn during this period of time and henceforth in this study-deposes. Through the study of this document, with the aid of works giving accounts and the significance of other women involved in the Revolution, this work will attempt to present a well-rounded and complete picture of life during wartime can be achieved. Not only is Sarah Osborn's deposition a wonderfully personal and astoundingly accurate story, it remains as one of the best known accounts of a woman living with soldiers in the camps. The efforts she underwent to help keep them fed, clean, organized, and together alone astound as feats of remarkable courage and devotion. Sa...


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...ity Of Chicago Press, 1980.

Ellet, E. F., and Lincoln Diamant. Revolutionary Women in the War for American Independence: A One-volume Revised Edition of Elizabeth Ellet's 1848 Landmark Series. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998.

Engle, Paul. Women in the American Revolution. Chicago: Follett, 1976.

Gundersen, Joan R.. To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America, 1740-1790. Rev. ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Lewis, Jan. "Women and the American Revolution." OAH Magazine of History, Summer 1994, 23-26. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25162982 (accessed February 20, 2011).

Waska, Frank E. “Mrs. Patience Lovell Wright. A Famous Modeler in Wax.” Brush and Pencil 2, no. 6 (Sept. 1898): 249-52.

Young, Alfred Fabian. Masquerade: The Life and Times of Deborah Sampson, Continental Soldier. New York: Alfred A. Knopf :, 2004.

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